Channel: Yasmin Mogahed
© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.
What do you know about Allah? subhanho? wa Taala now
you wish you knew, then?
Well, I actually want to before I get to that question, because that's a really, really deep question
that I, that I that I think I focused a lot in my books on. But one thing that I I,
I did want to mention about when I was 13 is actually ironically, it's interesting that you that you mentioned that age, that around that age, it was it was the summer after eighth grade. So I was 13, turning 14 That was that was how old I was at the time. It was actually at that point that I had my transformation in my own spiritual journey, which is which is, which is strange. I don't know everyone has theirs at a different time, I'd say if they do have one, but for me, it was actually that summer. And that summer was the when I made a promise, I actually made a promise to Allah subhanaw taala I was at a
a youth camp. So at the time, it was called Mina, this Slavitt around Muslim youth of North America, I was really active with Mina when I was young, I loved going to these youth programs, like I just loved it. It was a time when I felt like I belonged somewhere because obviously, you know, I went I went to public school my entire my entire life. And so I always felt, you know, no, there was always that diet, you know, that that okay, we our identity was always kind of like confused, you know, am I American and my Muslim Am I you know, am I American was so it allowed me to find like this identity among other American Muslims, right. And, and so I loved going to these camps, but like, it
was fun, and we'd learned some things, but I never really didn't transform me until this summer. And this I was in Chicago at the time. And I just sat alone, I remember this. So well, I sat alone in the in the little Massala area, I was by myself and I just turned to Allah and I made a promise to Allah at that point. And and my promise was that I would never miss a law again. That was my promise to Allah subhanaw taala at that time, and then the second decision I made was that I would start wearing hijab. So after that, I kept my promise it to the best of my ability, and it has been a bit more than seven years. And I and I started wearing hijab at that point. And that's when I started
learning, I started, I started really like doing a lot of self learning, I would read the Quran, myself, because I like I said, I didn't go to an Islamic school, I went to a public school and I had, you know, limited resources, we didn't have the internet to teach us at that time. We didn't even have internet really at that time. And now I'm aging myself, but that's fine. So the idea is that I had to open the hole to end myself and, and I would read it and I would read the Arabic and I would try to read the translation to try to learn the words until I started to learn. And of course, I had a little bit of a background from my Egyptian dialect at home, but it's as many of you know,
it's very different than the Quranic Arabic. So that's when I really started that journey. It was a, it was a journey I had to take, personally and I had to choose, like, you know, I my parents couldn't choose it for me, I had to choose. And and I decided that that was that was my the identity that I was going to develop and I was going to, you know, focus and make Allah, you know, the center and try to really do my best to live that way. And that's really what changed my life. I mean, then that was the different trajectory that I took. And I would say that to answer your second question, well, hold on. Let's let's react to this first. Right, so okay, I want to ask you, so like going
back, okay, so you're at this mega camp. You're 13 years old. You're in the Musala
Why did you make that promise then? Like, what? What was it about that time that you're like, Yeah, I'm gonna, like, I want to do this. Why did you make that promise? Um, I, I did that because I Okay, at that time in my life, I wasn't happy with the way I was living.
I know it sounds funny, but like, I was I reflected on my life and I'm having a midlife crisis. There's gotta be more I don't you know, I know I Power Rangers and all this.
X Men, it's X Men. But I knew I knew that I I wasn't doing what I was supposed to. I there was something inside of me. That that felt who knew that I wasn't doing what I was supposed to. And it was it was mainly because I wasn't praying at that time. That was actually the the thing that I was carrying that I knew in the back of my mind. I'm doing something wrong because I wasn't praying for a certain portion of that time. Specifically eighth grade. I remember I wasn't praying and I knew that
But that was wrong deep down. And so it was like, I just had this like, because sometimes you have to sort of step away, you know, when you step away from your normal routine, and then you can look at your life and you can kind of examine your life and you can see it much better. It's like you can see the mountain better when you're far away from the mountain versus on top of it, right? And so, I just looked at my life and I felt like I knew I wasn't doing something, you know, I wasn't
living my life correctly. And I said, You know what, I can't do that anymore. I won't miss so that's why Salah was the focus because
you know, I wasn't I wasn't praying